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What Size Acrylic Nail Brush Is The Best?

Best size for Acrylic nail brush

Every nail technician knows that the brush is their most important tool.

If you’re an experienced nail tech then you probably figured out what brush size already works best for you.

But if you are getting started as a nail tech, you might be a bit confused about what brush size you should use. If you are then read on.

While your technique is important in creating stunning nails, having the right set of brushes can go a long way in making your job easier with the same or even better results.

What Type Of Brush Should I Use For Acrylic Nails?

Before wondering what size or shape to buy make sure it’s made from 100% kolinsky sable hair.

These brushes hold the perfect mix of liquid and powder and allow you a great degree of manipulation of an acrylic ball. 

Book keeping

Is a round or flat acrylic nail brush best?

When starting as a beginner nail tech, you will hear a lot about what shape of brushes to use.

Round brushes are great for nail technicians who understand the basics of acrylic applications and are just about to start their careers. This is because they hold just enough amount of liquid to get the perfect liquid to powder ratio.

Another great thing about round brushes with their pointed tips is that they make it easier to work around the nail edges or cuticle and do some detail work. 

Flat or square brushes

Flat brushes have the advantage of being very easy to use in applying the acrylic along the length of the nail. It is great for you if you are just getting started in nail school.

But the problem with flat brushes is that it doesn’t hold enough liquid and might leave you with very thick beads. Also, they are not the best brush option when trying to sculpt a nail. 

Nail manufacturers have began to produce a new brand of acrylic nail brushes.

The oval brush

The oval brush is a hybrid between the flat and the round. It has the same rounded belly as a round brush and the benefit of a curved/pointed edge. 

However, the point where the bristles make contact with the ferrule is a bit flatter (crimped) than the round brush. This makes the tip of the brush fan out a bit in a curved shape rather than the pointed tip of a round brush but a lot more curved than the flat.

The oval brush is perfect for a nail technician because it holds the right amount of liquid and fits perfectly into the cuticle area letting you set the acrylic just right. In addition, you can still shape the tip of your oval brush into a point for detail work.

Oval acrylic nail brush


However, a nail brush is something very personal to each technician so you might have to try out several brushes before settling for one.

What shape of acrylic nail brush should you use? This video  below describes the difference in the brushes. 

What Is The Difference Between Acrylic Nail Brush Sizes?

Acrylic nail brushes come in many sizes. :)

And you might be confused on which size to buy. These are some of the differences between brush sizes. But remember that only you can determine which brush size best suits you. 

Different sizes of Acrylic Nail Brush


In number of beads 

A smaller size brush means you need more acrylic to cover the nail. For instance, you won’t be able to do anything less than a 3-bead method when using a size 8 brush. You might even find out that you need 4 to 5 beads.

As a beginner, the starter nail kit comes with a small size 8 or 6 brush and that is okay because you are trying to learn the basics. As you move up the professional ladder, you might want to pick a bigger size 10 or 12 brush.

You can even go as far as a 14 or 16 depending on how much control you have over the brush. With these bigger brushes, you can pick up larger sized beads and cover the nail using 2 or even one large bead. 

Easy Acrylic Nail brush Application


In ease of application

An acrylic bead is easier to apply when using a size 10 or 12 brush or any other larger brush than when using a size 6. This is because the higher amount of bristles helps the brush keep a better shape.

The belly of the brush is rounder and firmer than a small brush and you can easily lay down the bead unto the nail or tip, guide the bead into the desired shape.

With a smaller brush, there is a tendency for the bristles to flatten easily and this can flatten the bead or get it trapped within the bristles and eventually making your job a bit more difficult. 

Determining the ratio of liquid to monomer


Determining the ratio of liquid to monomer

To get the perfect beads, the liquid to powder ratio must be just right. Too much liquid and you have a runny bead. Too much powder, and... Oh well, you certainly don’t want that.

As a result of this, it is better to use a smaller size 6 or 8 brush when you are still learning the right ratio of products. That’s because larger brushes soak up a lot of monomer, and if you do not know how to control it, you might end up not picking enough powder and this is what you get. 

Here's how to get the right liquid to powder ratio for beginners.

In time management

If you are a beginner, maybe you just got out of nail school or you are still learning how to apply acrylic nails, you do not have to bother so much about time. Using a small brush requires you to use more number of beads.

This alone takes up a lot of time. But if you use a bigger brush and accidentally apply too much acrylic, then it could leave you with a bump. So you probably have to file down the nail for a smoother look.

How to pick acrylic pearl


Now if you are employed in a large nail salon that pays based on the number of clients then you would want to speed things up.

This also applies to whether you offer home services or own your own business. The larger size 12, 14, or 16 brush would make bead application a lot faster.

You also will get smoother nails that require less filing and save yourself some time.

Different sizes of Acrylic Nail brush


 In Price

Needless to say, larger bristles means higher prices. You can get a decent size 8 or 10 kolinsky brush for less than $20.

Pro tip: if you want to work your way up the brush size ladder, maybe go for a size 18 or 20 and you are not sure if it would be suitable for you. You can get a cheaper synthetic brush to practice with before investing in a kolinsky sable brush.

Can I use a large brush to pick up smaller beads?

You might think that it is impossible to pick small beads using a size 14 or 16 brush. If you are using a round brush with a pointed tip, you should dip the tip in monomer, wipe off the excess soaked liquid at the edge of the container and dip the brush tip briefly in the acrylic powder.

That will give you a fluffy and perfect tiny bead that you can use to fill around the edges. 

Can you use a small brush to pick up larger beads?

It is possible to use small brushes to pick up larger beads. You have to fully dip the brush into the monomer and allow the droplets to fall off without tapping more than once on the side of the dappen dish so that the brush will hold a lot of liquid before being dipped into the powder.

The video above will show you how to gain control over your bead size.

Most Popular Size Acrylic Nail Brush

The most popular sizes for beginners are usually the smaller sizes and the bigger ones for the more advanced technicians like sizes 12 and up.

Acrylic Nail brush sizes


There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the best size of acrylic nail brush for yourself. You must ensure that you are using the right brush to learn as a beginner. When you are more of an expert, you can have a wider range of brush sizes to choose from.

Was this article helpful? please leave a comment in the section below. Also, tell me about your experience in choosing the perfect brush size!